Alice and Bob can't stand to be around each other. Everyone else, however, needs to get them both in a room together. Maybe they want Alice and Bob to work out their differences, or maybe their simultaneous presence is required for something totally unrelated.
So, Charlie lures them both to the same meeting on some pretext. If Alice asks about Bob, Charlie will assure her that Bob won't be there, and similarly will tell Bob that Alice won't be present. Needless to say, they are pissed off when they show up and see one another, usually saying something like "What's HE doing here?" and/or trying to storm out immediately.
Can be part of a Feud Episode
if Alice and Bob were originally friends, and reconcile shortly thereafter. May overlap with Locked in a Room
if the characters decide to lock Alice and Bob in the room to expedite the reconciliation process.
- In one Archie comic Jughead and Archie fight and refuse to talk to each other. Their friends arrange to have them both come to the same party, without telling either of them the other was invited.
- In the Alan Moore run on Swamp Thing, John Constantine managed to get a bunch of magic-empowered characters to get together in the same room for a seance, basically with a lot of lies and half-truths.
- In Goldfinger, the title character gets gangsters from all over the country into the same room together, much to their displeasure. He's doing it so he can exercise his ego by explaining his master plan to them. He then murders them with the nerve gas he was planning to use on Fort Knox.
Hood #1: Goldfinger, why weren't we told New York and the West Coast were in on this?
Hood #2: I do not do business with Chicago.
Hood #3: I thought we had a private business deal to settle. Now I find I'm attending a hoods' convention.
- Done by Jean a few times in As Time Goes By when Judy and Sandy are angry at Alistair and Harry (respectively) and she's trying to get them back together. It's so expected that Judy assumes this is the case when Alistair drops by for a completely unrelated reason.
- In Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert and Ray Barone engineer a pretext to get Debra and Marie in the same room to resolve the argument that has prevented them from talking to or even acknowledging each other for a month.
- Somewhat averted in Gilligan's Island. The castaways threw a party to reunite the Howells after they had an argument. When invited, each asked, "Will that man (that woman) be there?" But instead of lying, the others were honest and answered that the other would be present.
- An episode of The Story of Tracy Beaker has Lol and Bouncer fall out with each other. This leads to Hayley tricking Bouncer into having a tea party with her in a wendy house. When Bouncer goes in, he sees Lol is inside, and then gets shoved (and locked) inside by Tracy and Hayley.
- A mass version of this occurs in the Shadowrun sourcebook Aztlan. The Great Dragon Dunklezahn uses trickery to get a number of immortal elves and other powerful characters together in the same chat session, many of whom hate each other and would never get together voluntarily.